Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of the GAP clothing company, began contributing to education-related causes through various philanthropic organizations in the late 1990s. The Doris and Donald Fisher Fund is the current foundation, although it was formerly known as the Doris and Donald Fisher Education Fund, is still sometimes abbreviated as D2F2, and earlier was known as the Pisces Foundation.
The Fishers were early supporters of Edison Schools, and have been major supporters of KIPP and Teach for America. Although I cannot find some of the Fisher’s earliest IRS 990s, the family also supported a young organization, The New Teacher Project, founded by Michelle Rhee. As noted on the Fisher’s 2011 Form 990, the foundation contributed $250,000 to Rhee’s newest organization, StudentsFirst.
I gathered Form 990s for the fiscal years ending in 2003 through 2011, and pulled information about contributions made during each of those years. You can find all of these Form 990s through Guidestar.org or Foundation Center’s 990 Finder. You can see the information I pulled in an Excel file on my Data page or check out the results below.
A few notes:
- Unfortunately, the Fishers do not provide a description of grants, only the name of the receiving organization and a dollar amount.
- 2009 contributions may be low for a few reasons: a conservative approach to giving considering the financial situation; the death of Donald Fisher, which happened after the 2009 fiscal year; or simply a missing Form 990 if the Fishers gave through multiple foundations during that year.
- While other major foundations garner more attention, the Fishers are one of a handful of donors providing support to some of the most important and influential education organizations: KIPP, TFA, NSVF, the Charter School Growth Fund, BAEO, CER, Education Reform Now, StudentsFirst, and state-based charter advocacy organizations.